Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Encourage Reading

This article is sponsored by Tween the Weekends.

Leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are falling, and the smell of fall is in the air.  It is that time of year again where I just want to curl up in a warm blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.  However, I have noticed this isn't typical of today's younger generation.  With two boys of my own I am realizing that all they want to do is play video games.  So it made me wonder, how can I get my boys, and other kids as well, more interested in books?  I have been doing some research, and this is what I have found.

* Read Aloud to your children!  This is a fun way to get children of any age to enjoy stories.  Try and do voices, or read with accents.  Help them visualize the story by showing pictures, or having them draw their own.  This is also just a great way to spend time with your children. They grow up fast, enjoy it while you can.

* Provide an ample supply of books, magazines, comic books, newspapers, etc...  Anything they enjoy is always better then whatever is playing on TV, or the video game console they want to play.  If they are watching TV consider turning on the Closed Caption so they can read as well as watch.

* Use reading as a "reward system".  I did this during the summer.  My children had to earn video game time by reading or doing chores around the house.  It helped them learn responsibility and got them to read more as well.

* Set an example.  If your children sees you reading, and enjoying it, chances are they will follow suit and love to read as much as you do.

* Visit your local library!  Participate in story time for younger ones, or encourage your older children to get involved in book groups. Let them choose books on their own.  Remember if they are interested in the topic, they will have a better chance of reading it.

* Play a word game in the car. Have each person take a turn reading as many words as he can from
street signs, billboards, store names, garage sale signs, etc. The player reads the words aloud as quickly as he can. It's a fun exercise and even though it's not a book, it gets kids reading.

* If your child likes video games or some other activity, maybe try subscribing to a magazine that goes along with that topic.

* Sometimes kids find it more exciting to read a series, rather than just a single book.  Help them find one that fits their reading level, and interest level.

I know I have only skimmed the surface of this topic, so let me know what has worked for you.  Leave me a comment, and I'll choose a couple to go on my Facebook Page.


Alan Tucker said...

It can't be understated how important reading is for kids. Great post and thanks again for joining us for Tween the Weekends!

Lois D. Brown said...

I have failed at reading outloud to my kids. This reminded me of that goal.

Lisa Orchard said...

Thanks for joining us for Tween the Weekends! Reading is so important and needs to be started at an early age! Thanks for reinforcing that!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yay! You joined us again this month, Alicia. :) This is a FABULOUS post. I wish I could get every parent in the world to read it. Seriously. Sharing now...

LynNerdKelley said...

Bravo, Alicia! Yes, reading with our kids is so important. I have to admit I got a late start with my own 4 kids (all grown now and a couple are parents). When my middle daughter was entering 3rd grade, I asked the teacher what I could do over the summer to get a jump start on her schooling since she was starting to fall behind. "Read to her every night," the teacher said. And so I did. And my youngest had to listen, too, because she wasn't about to be left out. It was in the middle of "James and the Giant Peach" that I decided I wanted to be a children's author. I loved his work so much. So I got a late start at age 40, but better than never! I also heard Jim Trelease speak about reading aloud to our kids, and he left quite an impression and said many of the things you've mentioned in this post. He's the author of the best selling "The Read Aloud Handbook," and it lists great books for reading aloud for all different ages. He even says we should read aloud to our kids through high school, like while they're doing the dishes, to read them an interesting short story or article or anything. Wonderful post. Thanks for joining us for TTW!

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